Willie Nelson is just one of the estimated 53 percent of Americans who think gay marriage should be legal. He's also one of the millions currently watching the Supreme Court argue the topic, along with the Defense of Marriage Act, the federal law which defines marriage as the union of a man and a woman.
"[Gay people] should be just as miserable as the rest of us," Willie jokes with Texas Monthly magazine, in a feature accompanied by photographs of the iconic entertainer holding personalized renderings of the now-famous red and pink signs (a variation of the logo for HRC, the Human Rights Campaign, the advocacy group for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals) with two horizontal lines symbolizing support for same-sex marriage. Willie's versions depict a pair of marijuana joints (above) and also his trademark braids. See more photos here.
"It's ridiculous to me that this is something we're having a conversation about this in this day and age," says the legendary Texan, who will turn 80 next month. "I thought it was something that was settled a long time ago. Obviously, even the Supreme Court doesn't know what to do about it. They say, 'Don't ask me. Ask somebody else.' They don't want to get in the middle of the states on it. What are they going to do, come in and override states that have said it's OK? It's a mess."
Willie notes that for same-sex couples, taxes, benefits and survivor benefits are different, and concludes "it's crazy," adding, "I never had a problem with any of it. I've known straight and gay people all my life. I can't tell the difference. People are people where I came from."
In spite of being a Texan who played country music beginning in the more traditional 1940s and '50s, Willie insists there was no debate on the issue. "It never came up. Gay or straight? Married, not married? It was never a question. Now there's fussin', fightin' and arguin' over it? Let's get off that and talk about guns."
Married four times himself, Willie notes, "I've been there and back a few times. It's not perfect, so why should we expect it to be perfect for everybody? ... I never thought of marriage as something only for men and women. But I'd never marry a guy I didn't like."
In 2006, Willie recorded a cover of the satrical "Cowboys Are Frequently, Secretly Fond of Each Other." It is regarded as the first LGBT-themed song by a major country artist. The icon will release a new album, Let's Face the Music and Dance, on April 16.
Watch Willie Nelson's Biography